How it All Began: Part I
As with many stories, this was quite a journey. We may as well start at the beginning. I was born in Deer Lodge, Montana. My early experience with music was with my family. My father had a pleasing voice but was not very musical. My mother’s voice was not pleasing but she was more musical. She helped her children learn to appreciate music. She sat at her old piano on a bench that was wide enough for her and one child at a time and plunked out gospel songs and hymns. Her favorite piece, which was neither of those, was “Nola.” My how she could make that piano sing. We would cheer and beg for more!
I started playing the saxophone in the fifth grade as my first formal music training. Day after day I lugged that tenor sax home, so I could practice. I was never a great saxophonist because I was challenged with eye-hand coordination, but I was tenacious and never gave up through high school and college trying to become an excellent saxophonist. While in high school I tried to do everything — sports, theater, band, and chorus. Oh yes, and my studies. My father counseled me when he said, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” I would be reminded of this as I built the store.
I attended Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri for two years. Transferring to Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington I graduated with a B.A. in music theory and literature and music education.
My teaching career began in Garden City, Michigan and continued when I was chosen as a national music consultant for the Silver Burdett Company. Later, I did graduate work at The University of Michigan in music education with minors in theory and voice performance. Obviously, I was hooked and a committed musician.
During all those years I was fascinated with business and when I retired I asked the question many people ask, “What shall I do now?” Along the way, I was fortunate to make some good decisions and learned personal computers and the Internet as they became available. It didn’t take long to see what was happening in this space. I lived in Seattle when Jeff Bezos started Amazon — to sell books. He was an inspiration to me. Amazon has changed and continues to change the business world. I read about the Internet, eCommerce, online selling and business models. I lived through the dot.com craziness without losing my shirt or making it big.
As I thought about “What shall I do now?” Of all the things I considered doing I always came back to finding a way to do business on the Internet. That was a fairly easy decision compared to the next one. “How can I make a difference in the lives of people?” I observed that there were a lot of potions, lotions and, information being sold which made all kinds of claims. I wanted to sell a physical product.
Thinking. . . . Thinking. . . . . Thinking